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Crunch time for Wisconsin Jesus Lunch

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Options offered to city

An opponents’ memo to the city July 1, signed by 125 people, suggests four “constitutionally acceptable” options to protect students:

1. Selling the park to the school district, which would give the district exclusive jurisdiction to impose school rules during school hours.

2. Entering a shared-use agreement with the district which gives the district control over the park during school hours. School rules would apply to all park users during school hours.

3. The city could amend its ordinances to prohibit nonschool-sponsored special or “expressive events” involving more than 20 people during school hours, an option consistent with the Middleton Police Department’s statement which said, “[W]e do not think it is in the best interest of the City or School District to have large events reserved in Firemen’s Park during the school year/hours, no matter if it is Jesus Lunches . . . or the Middleton Police Department Family Picnic.”

4. The group’s least-favored option addresses only food safety and suggests an ordinance to prohibit food or drinks from being served to minors in the park from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. when school is in session unless served by a parent or legal guardian or the district.

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